Talc Powder and Cancer

Powder made from talc has been implicated in the development of cancer.  Talc, the softest of all the minerals, has been used for centuries for cosmetic purposes.  Crushed, it is used to protect the skin by absorbing moisture and keeping the skin dry, reducing friction and discomfort, and to perfume the skin.  It was sold as medicated powder, foot powder, cosmetic powder, aftershave talc, and most notably, baby powder.

Talc is a mineral consisting of the elements magnesium, oxygen and silicon. Like all minerals, talc ore is often contaminated by other minerals. In recent years the presence of asbestos in talc has been extensively studied and tested. Asbestos is a carcinogen, meaning that it causes cancer.

Talc is also used for industrial purposes, which you can read about more here.

Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Using talcum powder in the genital area  may raise a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to studies conducted since 1982.  Scientists are not exactly sure how talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, but in many cases of ovarian cancer, talc is found in the ovarian tumor itself.  Advertisements by many talc manufacturers including Johnson and Johnson recommended women sprinkle talcum powder in their pelvic area, on underwear, and on sanitary napkins. The ads discussed preventing chafing and covering up any odor of the vaginal area so a woman would feel “fresh”.  Used in these areas, talcum powder can travel into the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and uterus.

Talc and Mesothelioma

Because talc often contains asbestos fibers, using talc powder can expose the user to airborne asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Because talcum powder is used dry and often applied by shaking, asbestos fibers can float in the air and can be breathed in as talc powder is sprinkled. Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling those microscopic asbestos fibers.

Cosmetic talc and baby powder

There are many kinds of talc powders that have tested positive for the presence of asbestos fibers. Talc powders that have tested positive for the presence of asbestos include:

  • Baby powder (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Cashmere Bouquet powder ( Colgate)
  • Desert Flower Dusting Powder (Shulton, Inc.)
  • Kings Men Luxury Talc (Kings Men)
  • Old Spice Aftershave Talc (Shulton, Inc.)
  • Pinaud Clubman talcum powder (Clubman)
  • Shower to Shower powder (Johnson & Johnson)

In research begun in 1973 and released in 1976. Mt Sinai Hospital examined 19 kinds of cosmetic talc . They found asbestos present in 10 of those samples. Products which tested positive for asbestos in Mt. Sinai’s tests:

    • ZBT Baby Powder with Baby Oil
    • Cashmere Bouquet Body Talc
    • Coty Airspun Face Powder
    • Rosemary Talc
    • Bauer & Black Baby Talc
    • Faberge Brut Talc
    • Yardley Invisible Talc
    • Yardley Black Label Baby Powder
    • Mennen Shave Talc, and
    • English Leather After Shave Talc

What Can You Do?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer, and you believe it may be related to your use of talc powder products, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm 1-888-491-9726 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or tell us your story online here. Like all legal claims, talc cancer claims have short, strictly enforced time limits.  The legal time limits, called the statute of limitations, begin running as soon as you are diagnosed with cancer. Call today to protect your legal rights.